In an interfaith gesture, Jews backing upset Hindus have urged AT&T and Intel to withdraw sponsorship of internationally renowned 4-day gaming festival “QuakeCon 2012”, starting at Dallas (USA) on August two, for allowing play of SMITE video action game, which Hindus say trivializes their highly revered deities.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Jewish leader in Western USA Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer, in a joint statement today, said that prestigious companies like AT&T and Intel should stay away from such events which hurt the feelings of a section of the populace.
Despite the request of perturbed Hindus, 16-years old QuakeCon, described as “Woodstock of Gaming”, had not removed SMITE yet from the festival. Videogaming industry should be more sensitive in handling religion related subjects as faith was very sacred for the devotees and its inappropriate usage hurt them, Zed and Rabbi Beyer stressed.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, had earlier pointed out that controlling and manipulating goddess Kali and other Hindu deities with a joystick/ button/keyboard/mouse was denigration, as in reality the devotees put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their deities. Goddess Kali and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not meant to be reduced to just a “character” in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground, Zed added.
Thousands of computer gamers from all over the world reportedly attend QuakeCon, annual free convention labeled as a “huge party for every sort of gamer” and “North America’s largest gaming festival”; “to play with their friends on a giant gaming network, see the latest cool technology, and compete in world-class tournaments”; and it claims to provide ultimate/unmatched gaming experience. Online video game developer Hi-Rez Studios has announced that its game “SMITE will be playable for cash and prizing at QuakeCon”. Hi-Rez website describes SMITE as an “online battleground between mythical gods” in which players choose from a selection of gods.